Repossession Deficiency Defense

Have you or a loved one had a boat, vehicle, RV, or similar item repossessed? If so, you need to know that when a lender repossesses the car you may still be responsible for a “deficiency”. Deficiencies can include the costs and expenses incurred by repossessing and selling the item, attorney fees, and any balance on the loan that is not covered by the sale of the item.


  • Jim buys a car using a car loan, owes $5,000 on the car, and stops paying the loan.
  • The lender repossesses the car because of the default and sells the car at auction for $2,000.
  • The lender’s repo, auction, and attorney fees total $1,000.
  • $5,000 owed + $1,000 fees – $2,000 sale = $4,000 that Jim now owes the lender.

Defending Against a Deficiency Lawsuit

After the sale, the lender may file a lawsuit to recover the deficiency owed in a repossession case. You may be wondering if you can or should try to defend against a repossession deficiency lawsuit.

Utah law has strict requirements that debtors (you) be notified of their legal rights before the sale of repossessed items and that lenders keep records of how the repossessed items are sold. When these strict guidelines aren’t followed to the letter you have a defense to any claim they may bring against you for the deficiency. Other defenses may also be available depending on your situation.

Should You Hire an Attorney for Repossession Deficiency Defense?

If you are being sued for a deficiency in a repossession case, the worst thing that you can do is ignore the lawsuit and hope the lender goes away. The attorneys representing lenders and collection agencies fight hard for their clients.

At Hepworth & Associates, our attorneys know Utah repossession laws, and will aggressively defend your rights. If you or a loved one has had a car, boat, RV, or similar item repossessed, please call Hepworth & Associates at 801-872-2222, to schedule a consultation with an experienced repossession deficiency defense attorney regarding your case.